One hundred and thirty-six years ago, a man named Mr. C. G. Jaeger read his 55 line eloquently written poem entitled “Dedication Ode” during the ceremony in which the Newberry Opera House was dedicated.  (Click here to read the poem.) The date was February 20, 1882. 

Following that precedent as part of the 20th Anniversary of the re-dedication of the Opera House, a poetry contest is being held. The subject of the poetry contest must be about some aspect of the Newberry Opera House—for example, the building itself, performances or events given there, personal experiences, its history, its tower in the skyline, the people and performers associated with it, or its importance to Newberry—City and County.   (Click here for a simplified history of the Opera House.)

Selected poems will be part of the upcoming celebration program marking the 20th Anniversary.  A $50 savings account provided by South State Bank will be presented to the winner of each level, and the winning poem for each level will be read by its author during the Anniversary Celebration program beginning at 5:00 PM at the Opera House on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Four Categories for Submission:

  1. Elementary Student Level
  2. Middle and High School Level
  3. College Student Level
  4. Community Level (of any age)

No Restriction as to Form of Poetry or Length of Poem

Deadline for Receiving Submission:  Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:00 PM

In addition to the poem, each entry MUST HAVE the following:

  1. The name of the person writing the poem
  2. The Category Level
  3. The Name of the Student’s School (for Categories 1-3)
  4. Contact Information (including address and telephone number)

Poems may be submitted in one of the following ways:

  1. Mail to:                 
    Poetry Contest—20th Anniversary Celebration
    The Newberry Opera House
    1201 McKibben Street
    Newberry, South Carolina  29108
  1. Submit Electronically to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Please put” Poetry Contest” as the Subject)
  2. Deliver to the Box Office at the Newberry Opera House.

For more about all of the 20th Anniversary events, visit the 20th Anniversary tab under Shows & Events on